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The third most sexually tolerant city in the world is not tolerant of Christianity: https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/chick-fil-a-toronto-opening-protesters More

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Unmitigated Joy

 

Some people are foolish enough to search for what they call joy just about anywhere: amusement parks, movie comedies, shopping at the mall. We go to places where thrills and laughter abound so we can not only forget our sorrows but have a fun time.

But what is joy, and why do we so desire it? Words like bliss, happiness, delight, pleasure, satisfaction all appear in the dictionary as synonyms. But in Judaism, joy, called simcha, has a specific meaning. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his book on Deuteronomy makes this distinction between happiness and joy:

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Podcaster Joe Rogan recently sat down for a long conversation with id Software and Armadillo Aerospace founder John Carmack. The legendary programmer and engineer no longer designs video games or rockets. He now leads Oculus (purchased by Facebook) in improvement of virtual reality (VR) hardware and software. More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis making an urgent plea to end political tribalism because a unified America is a stronger America. They’re also sad to learn that health problems are forcing the retirement of Georgia GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson and they’re also […]

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Why All Catholics Should Believe

 

A recent Pew study showed that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in communion. I was dismayed at this not because I am a champion of this teaching but because I believe that people of faith should wholeheartedly believe what their faith teaches. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Here is a little back story. At the last supper in the upper room, Jesus held forth the bread and wine and said, “This is my body, this is my blood. Eat in remembrance of me.” Most Christians (with the exception of Quakers and the Salvation Army) believe that this meal is to be reenacted in our worship today.

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Quote of the Day – A Perfect Order

 

It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.

– Dmitri Mendeleev

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It doesn’t take winning baseball team to fill a stadium: https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/jesus-california-crusade-god-country More

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Icon, Part 12: Ascension

 

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

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The “Why” of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)

 

For the Lord will again delight in your well-being, as He did in that of your fathers, since you will be heeding the Lord your God and keeping his commandments and laws that are recorded in this book of the Teaching—once you return to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it. (Deuteronomy, 9-14)

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have no good martinis today. They wince as the national deficit creeps closer to $1 trillion again and lament that neither party has any intention of seriously addressing the problem before disaster strikes next decade. They also cringe as President Trump rightly slams Rashida […]

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Readers of Thomas Kuhn’s famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions will know his central thesis that when anomalies and contradictions arise in a reigning scientific theory it creates a crisis out of which new theories emerge to replace the old. We may be seeing the beginnings of such a crisis for modern Darwinism, which […]

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Quote of the Day: How Jews Harm Other Jews

 

“Dare I say it? I must. I implore Jews to stop fighting with one another. Even if we disagree, we must try to do so respectfully, soulfully. I am psychologically very sensitive to Jewish self-hatred and anti-Semitism within the Diaspora. I fear it may very well function as a fifth column. I do not, however, think that other Jews are my enemies. It is important for Jews to remember this. Even if all Jews saw eye-to-eye on everything, we would still have real enemies whose goal in life is to kill us and to drive a Jewish presence out of the Middle East.” — Phyllis Chesler, The New Anti-Semitism

I saw Phyllis Chesler give a talk at a conference in St. Petersburg, FL, several years ago. It was a conference on Islamism; unfortunately, they haven’t held the conference again. Some great people were there, whose warnings were prescient, many of which have manifested in the years since.

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You Can’t Choose Life

 

There’s a pro-life slogan that goes “Choose life.” I’m sure the idea is to subvert pro-choice language for a pro-life message. Unfortunately, it concedes the pro-choice worldview that life is something that can be chosen. I’m sorry to say that it isn’t.

My husband and I decided to “choose life” ten years into our marriage. Seven years later, the only pitter-patter of little feet in our house still comes from our cats, even after three rounds of inter-uterine insertion (IUI). My sister and brother-in-law decided to “choose life” with in vitro fertilization. For the first round, all five of their embryonic children died before any could be implanted. The second round resulted in four embryos. She had one implanted today; she has about a 50% chance of that child surviving to live birth. My cousin and her boyfriend managed to have a healthy pregnancy when she became pregnant accidentally and they “chose life”; her infant son died two months ago after surviving mere hours.

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Quote of the Day: Your Greatest Treasures

 

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

When it comes to practical guidance, Lao Tzu gets to the heart of things. If we take this premise—simplicity, patience, and compassion are our greatest treasures—one could argue about whether they are the “greatest”; yet they are full of wisdom.

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Quote of the Day: “A God you understood . . .”

 

“Whatever you do, anyway, remember that these things are mysteries and that if they were such that we could understand them, they wouldn’t be worth understanding. A God you understood would be less than yourself.” — Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being

Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) was an American writer and southern Catholic, whose novels and short stories are inhabited by some of the strangest characters you’ll meet in fiction: absurd, often violent, and frequently driven by a spiritual fervor. It seems that people either like her fiction, or they find themselves confused and repulsed by it. This is probably because one of her most-anthologized stories — the one you likely read in your high school literature courses — is “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which is about a family road trip that ends in mass murder.

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It’s Not True that Empiricism and Religion Are Never the Same Thing

 

I’ve been mostly just lurking around Ricochet lately, a consequence of traveling. Two weeks ago travel and allergens wore me out enough to allow for (probably) a flu, which was followed by the usual sinus infection, which was followed by the usual prednisone and antibiotics. But I felt pretty good about the flu because I felt I had something to show for being completely exhausted: My article “William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith” was accepted for publication around the time the headache started, with the nicest words I’ve ever received from a blind reviewer. As of this morning, the article is now up at the Heythrop Journal website.

My recommended one-sentence takeaway is: Don’t trust the popular theory that empiricism and religion are never the same thing. And here’s some of the gist of my analysis of two empirical religious philosophers:

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Quote of the Day: Empowering the Poor

 

“Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.” — Arthur C. Brooks, Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America

It is a travesty that the Progressives, and some misguided on the Right, have conditioned those who are poor to believe their false doctrine. The poor learn from them that they are hostages of the culture, that they have little to no power to grow and improve themselves, that the white majority (substitute white supremacy) culture is determined to keep them down and impoverish them. I simply can’t reconcile the calls for compassion from the Left, with their arrogance about the ability of others to thrive in this great country. Their beliefs are so devastating to the soul.

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The Gnostic LGBTQ+

 

My lesbian friend told me that on Saturday there was to be a Gay pride parade on King Street between Foggy Pine bookstore and the Jones house. Reading about it in the local news feed, I didn’t agree with the narratives proclaimed on the Jones house steps, but I don’t begrudge them for staging the event. All people of religious convictions should take their best shot at winning their fellow traveler.

To sink one’s heart in the LGBTQ+ way of thinking you have to embrace Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a departure from Christianity that captured the cultural imagination at the end of the Apostolic age. John, the last of the Apostles, warned against this coming trend when he spoke about not denying that Christ “as coming in the flesh” (2 John 1:7) and arguing in his epistle that doing righteous deeds in the body does indeed matter (1 John 3:7).

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